06 April 2010

Cyrtandra samoensis - on display in Selby's Tropical Conservatory

We have a rather impressive specimen of Cyrtandra samoensis currently on display in Selby's Tropical Conservatory. The plant is just about 1 meter (3 ft) tall and is in full bloom. The delicate white corollas last only about a day or two but are constantly being replaced by new blooms.

Cyrtandra samoensis belongs to a group of about 10 closely related species that are found scattered across the South Pacific from Papua New Guinea all the way out to the Society Islands. At the GRC, we are using traditional morphological studies combined with modern molecular methods to better understand how these species are related to each other and how they came to be distributed across so many remote islands in the Pacific.

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